Tokyo : Tokyo stocks closed higher on Thursday, as investors flocked to shares of technology companies after the US Nasdaq Composite Index closed at a record high overnight. The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average increased 240.45 points, or 0.91 per cent, from Wednesday at 26,537.31, its highest closing since April 19, 1991. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, meanwhile, gained 10.58 points, or 0.60 per cent, to finish at 1,778.25.
Throughout the day, the US dollar traded in the lower 104 yen zone, fluctuating between buying on gains in US and Japanese stocks and selling on worries over increasing Covid-19 infections in some parts of the world. After struggling for clear direction in early morning following Nikkei’s fresh 29-year high the previous day, Tokyo stocks quickly rebounded and advanced further in the afternoon helped by strong technology shares after the US Nasdaq Composite Index hit at a record high.
“Market players sought bargains in the technology sector,” Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management, was quoted by local media as saying. Makoto Sengoku, a market analyst at the Tokai Tokyo Research Institute, told local media that long-term investors have bought back stocks out of a relatively bright global economic outlook. However, such moves are expected to halt around mid-December, he said, as many foreign investors, who account for some 70 per cent of trading value in the Tokyo market, will be away for the Christmas and New Year holidays.
By the close of play, information and communication, precision instrument, and electric appliance issues comprised those that increased the most, and advancing issues outnumbered decliners 1,299 to 791 on the First Section, while 88 finished unchanged. Among technology issues, semiconductor equipment maker Tokyo Electron gained 1,110 yen, or 3.3 per cent, to 35,000 yen and Screen Holdings climbed 150 yen, or 2.2 per cent, to 6,830 yen. Advantest was up 120 yen, or 1.7 per cent, to 7,310 yen. On the main section on Thursday, 1,164.00 million shares changed hands, decreasing from Wednesday’s volume of 1,549.46 million shares.